Interview Question: What’s One Skill You’d Like to Improve?
Several things help interviewers to discern between normal and great job applicants. One of such things is the skills possessed by applicants. These skills enable individuals to work better and acclimatize to various working conditions. Also, employers tend to favor candidates who have an array of skills; sometimes, work can get complicated. Hence, the hiring manager is searching and looking for individuals with excellent technical skills. Moreover, organizational growth and advancement is the ultimate goal of every business and company; no firm or employer wants to remain stagnant or go backward.
Interviewers ask questions about skills to know and learn more about your variety of skills and experience. In addition, employers want to know if you have plans to improve your skillset or not. Therefore, it is essential to prepare and plan before an interview. This will enable you to provide a satisfactory and honest answer(s). Relatively, the hiring manager knows that you won’t highlight or make reference to a major character flaw during the interview. Still, they expect you to provide an intelligent answer alongside a healthy dose of honesty.
The question- what’s one skill you’d like to improve is a good example of such questions and can be asked in several ways. Some examples of how this question can be phrased or framed include; if there was one area you’ve always wanted to improve upon, what would that be? What areas would you like to further develop? What can you improve about yourself? What would you most like to improve about yourself? What do you need to improve? Thus, this article will discuss the reasons why hiring managers ask the question, how to answer the question, and provide helpful tips for developing a good answer to the question. Also, a sample answer to the question will be provided or given.
Reasons Why Hiring Managers Ask Questions about a Skill You Want to Improve
- The hiring manager asks job applicants questions about what skills they want to improve to challenge them to give an unbiased and objective assessment of themselves.
- Also, the question provides the perfect opportunity for candidates to discuss why they want to improve a particular area of their work life.
- The employer wants to have an insight into job seekers’ potential for growth and willingness to learn.
- The question can be asked to evaluate the confidence level of candidates. Employers and recruiters look for applicants who are humble, yet confident about their skills and abilities.
Tips for providing a Great Answer to Questions about a Skill You’d Like to Improve
Questions about the skills you want to improve are not asked to trick you; the hiring manager doesn’t expect job seekers to be perfect people who do not have areas to improve on. In contrast, employers want candidates to demonstrate their previous experience as well as what they are currently learning to build their skills. Hence, you should consider the following tips when developing your answer;
Be Humble: The recruiter does not expect you to be perfect; so show humility and mention a skill you would like to improve.
Be Honest: Honesty is vital to providing a good answer. Therefore, tell the truth in your answer and honestly express your desire for improving your skills.
Show an eagerness and willingness to learn: Again, you should make sure that you demonstrate that you are eager to learn new skills, get feedback, and embrace challenges.
Keep your examples professional: Ensure that the skills you highlight are professional and work-related; rather than personal things about yourself, you would want to improve.
Highlight skills you possess: Try to incorporate skills you already possess and how they could help you to improve the skill you hope to build into your answer.
Steps to Answering the Question- What’s One Skill You’d Like to Improve?
The following steps should help you answer questions about improving your skills;
- Think about your skillset
- Choose a particular skill to talk about
- Discuss why you want to improve the chosen skill
- Explain your current competency
- Ask how the job or organization can help you to improve the chosen skill
Think about your skillset: First, think about all the skills you possess. While at it, try and generate a mental list that places or ranks them accordingly. Remember, the categorization should be based on your skill level and comfort. When developing the list, pay attention to the areas you have had success with as well as the areas that need to be improved on. Similarly, consider the skills you use daily and the ones you rarely use. Most importantly, try and figure out the potential or likely causes of the gaps between success and improvement. It is fine to place the skills in a hierarchal order.
Choose a particular skill to talk about: Now, you have thought about your skillset, created a mental list of the skills, and placed them in a hierarchy. The next thing to do is to choose a skill that you feel you need to improve on based on your order. However, make sure to select a skill that is not essential to the role you are interviewing for. Instead, choose a professional, work-related, and equally, important skill to talk about. Remember, you are expected to have skills and expertise for the particular position that you applied for. For example, don’t say you want to improve your communication or problem-solving skills if you applied for a customer service role.
Discuss why you want to improve the chosen skill: This is your opportunity to explain to the interviewer your reasons for wanting to improve the chosen skill. Here, you can say that you chose the skill because it is essential for career growth for instance. Relatively, outline and explain the steps you have taken or intend to take to develop the skill. There should be a connection and justification of why you believe developing or improving the skill would help you succeed in the role.
Explain your current competency: Ensure that your answer demonstrates and illustrates your current competency and experience with the skill. Here, you can use the STAR method to craft your answer and communicate your skill level. The STAR method gives a breakdown of the specific situation, the task, the action taken to respond to the situation, and the outcome of the actions taken.
Ask how the job or organization can help you to improve the chosen skill: Finally, you can use your response or answer as an opportunity to learn more about the role and company at large. For example, you can ask if the organization offers professional development courses or mentorship programs that can help you to develop and improve your skill.
Sample Answer to the Question
While working as a sales assistant rarely involves giving presentations, I would like to improve my confidence as a public speaker. I strongly believe that when I improve my communication skills, it would help to prepare me to advance to higher positions and give presentations to important clients. In the meantime, I believe it would help me with the day-to-day interactions I have with my colleagues and clients.
To challenge myself to improve my public speaking, I have enrolled in an improvised class at the local community theatre. While it may seem odd, this class has taught me how to feel more comfortable in front of other people; it has also helped me to respond quickly to unusual scenarios, and prepare for the unexpected. Do you offer professional development courses that can help me to translate my skills into professional public speaking skills?